1) What products, services and projects of BASF are you most excited about at the moment?
We are very proud of the success we have seen with AgCelence® in cereals, maize and sugarcane. AgCelence® is a cutting edge technology from BASF which goes beyond crop protection to deliver higher yield, which we are delighted about. Another exciting project we are running at the moment is for Stellar® Star with Small Scale and Emergent Farmers where we have made unmatched strides in reaching out to farmers in this segment. Another star in the making is the Integrity™ herbicide for maize in the commercial farming sector.
2) What makes your company competitive in this market?
BASF is one of the leading researching companies in crop protection. We believe that innovation is the driver for success and one of the strong benefits for our customers. They continuously face new challenges for which solutions need to be found. Therefore, we are constantly looking for solutions which farmers can use to manage resistance, new diseases across crops while optimizing yield and plant health. In 2012, BASF invested € 436.5 million in research and development for agriculture innovations, showing the importance The Chemical Company is putting in this field.
3) Any specific projects or success stories you would like to share?
With the introduction of the AgCelence® technology in Zambia, we have seen farmers that experienced increased yields, controlled diseases effectively and achieved better grain quality from their crops. It is exciting to see that we are going beyond disease control to healthier crops, higher yields and better quality of crops. We have seen people get an average of 10% more yield per hectare than their farm standard after using the AgCelence® technology across the country in several farms in Mkushi, Mpongwe, Chisamba, Mazabuka and Choma
4) What in your view are the main challenges for the agricultural sector in Zambia?
From a production perspective, weed control and disease control which result in low yields can be a challenge and we come handy here with our AgCelence® Technology for yield improvement and our Stellar® Star and Integrity™ solutions for weed control.
5) What advice would you give someone who is interested in investing in the Zambian agri-sector?
At the moment Zambia is the country to be in. The climatic conditions are ideal for production, the political environment is conductive for doing business, and infrastructure is developing at a fast rate to support agriculture. So I would say that investing in Zambian agriculture is the right step to take today for a prosperous future.
6) What is your vision for the sector, also in terms of the region?
To have Zambia one day feed the region and beyond.
7) What surprises you about this sector?
The fast rate at which investors are coming into the sector.
8 ) Why did you decide to partner with AgriTech Expo?
We see this Expo as an ideal vehicle to meet with customers and have enriching dialogues to reach our prospects and showcase our technologies.
9) What will be your main message at AgriTech Expo?
BASF innovations and agricultural expertise in Zambia will empower the farming community to cultivate prosperity with guaranteed return on investment. BASF has the global expertise that we have adapted to local needs.
10) Anything you would like to add?
This is an event not to be missed. A single event bringing together manufactures, suppliers, dealers and customers in one place. . . Brilliant idea!